Go to college, get a degree, and start working your way up the ladder in your chosen field… forever. How many times have we heard this career-path advice? And how many of us now feel, well, stuck?
According to Sinead Bovell, a lot. The founder of WAYE (that stands for “weekly advice for young entrepreneurs,” btw) counts model, MBA holder, and tech evangelist among her own varied hats, and just dropped three key steps to unlocking your career path at our Wellness Collective event with Athleta.
“You are not confined to a job or industry simply because that is what you have done up until now,” says Bovell. “Your dream job should be an extension of yourself and who you are, and that usually means you will have to create it yourself—but don’t be afraid to do that!”
To do so, imagine it’s 10 years in the future and your friends and family are giving a toast in your honor—specifically about your achievements. In an ideal world, what would they be saying? The key to this exercise is removing the usual roadblocks (ahem, imposter syndrome) and thinking through what this vision of your own success would really look like. Nothing is off limits—just jot down your answer.
Now that you’ve zero-ed in on this dream goal, write down the short- and medium-term steps you can take to make this 10-year vision a reality. What skills do you need to build? What courses or professional certifications would you need to clinch? What about mentors and networking? Remember, there’s no red tape here—so think big.
Lastly, it’s time to face that familiar foe: self doubt. Put pen to paper and actually spell out what it is you’re afraid of. Next, focus on the hurdles you’ve already leapt and skills you’ve cultivated. “Think about the intangible skill sets that you possess or are developing that you could use elsewhere,” recommends Bovell. “What you may see as a disadvantage may be the very thing that sets you apart.”
When we do this, says Bovell, it takes the power away from the doubt and puts it back into our own hands—and isn’t that what motivation really is, after all?